Tag: food and drink

Friday evening arrivals

Headed home from work at 4 PM. Kelly had her first flex-day today and so she was home. Around 6:30 or so, her parents arrived. We had moved Kelly’s car onto the street so that they could park in our driveway. Shortly thereafter, I heard from he11o_sunshine: their train was delayed a few hours and they were going to try and get on another train. They called back later; they managed to get on the 8 PM regional train and would be in D.C. around 11:30 PM. Kelly and I and her parents walked over to Shirlington for dinner at Capital City Brewery. We walked home through a light rain afterward. Sat around talking, watched some Olympics, and finally shortly after 11 PM, Kelly and I headed out to Union Station to pick up Mom, Jen, and Jason.

We timed it perfectly. They were just getting off the train and we didn’t have to wait for them at all. We headed back to the house, introduced people all around. Kelly’s parents headed up to bed. The rest of us sat around chatting for a while, and finally, around 1:30 AM, headed off to bed. I’d been wired so around 1 AM, I took 2 Tylenol PMs to help ensure that I would sleep. Kelly and I slept on an inflatable mattress in the family room. Apparently, around 3:30 AM or so, the mattress had collapsed in around us. I was dead to the world and didn’t notice, but Kelly, who found it uncomfortable to sleep in a collapsed mattress, had moved to the couch.

House guests and meetings

Got home just after 4 PM yesterday and vacuumed the entire house, took out the trash and recycling, and tidied up a bit. Carmen arrived just as I was about to pick up Kelly. I dashed up to Pentagon City while Carmen waited patiently at the new place. When we got back home, we gave Carmen a tour of the new house. Shortly thereafter, Leanna arrived, and finally Jen. Carmen brought us a bottle of wine and Jen came bearing cupcakes from Cakelove. We sat around talking, drinking beer, having a good time. We ordered some pizzas and ate them, and also had some of the cupcakes that Jen brought over. Around 9 PM, everyone headed home. It was a lot of fun. Kelly and I watched another episode of Dexter before heading off for bed. I had some trouble falling asleep, so I went downstairs and read another chapter in The Science of Science Fiction Writing.

Up this morning before 6 AM. Today is Kelly’s Friday off (she gets every other Friday off because she works 9 hour days). That’s a good thing because we have more guests coming in for the weekend. Kelly’s parents should arrive sometime late this afternoon. rubysnina, he11o_sunshine, and stubiebrother get in around 10:30 tonight.

Normally, Friday’s are relatively quiet days in the office. Not today. Somehow, I managed to get wrangled into meetings for the majority of the day. The first one is at 11:30 AM and after that I’m stuck in meetings until 4 PM. Odd for a Friday.

Monday evening

Kelly met me after work and we went home together. She’s still sick (she stayed home today) and when get got back to the house, she went right to bed and slept for a few hours.

I got my bike back together and then took it out for a test-drive. I rode up Army-Navy drive to the country club and then turned around and came back. I had a headwind on the way, plus it is a gradual climb, so it was more of a workout than I expected. Also, I still need to do some adjusting of the rear brakes. But the bike is now fit for road travel and anytime, I can start riding to work.

Kelly had eggs and beans for dinner and I had French Bread Pizza, which did not really fall into the “no carbs” category. Also, I noticed after that the last remaining piece of French bread had a little mold on it. I guess it wasn’t enough to hurt me, but it creeped me out a bit.

When Kelly woke up, we passed the evening watching a few episodes of Dexter on Showtime HD On Demand. Kelly frames some more photographs and put them up in the family room, so that, between the mantle and the coffee table, we have a ton of pictures on display.

Got a “Save the Date” magnet from Lauren. I was in such a fog yesterday that when I stuck it on the fridge, I didn’t even look to see what the “date” was. I have no idea.

Late night. Got to bed sometime after 11 PM and up this morning around 6:30. Kelly is still sick. She decided to take the day off today, which I think was a good idea. She can use the rest to try and get better.

Busy Sunday

Up before 8 AM, had breakfast and got ready for the day. We dressed up nice because we had our engagement photo re-shoot this morning up in Columbia, Maryland. We left here around 8:30 and arrived at the lake shortly before our photographer. It was really pretty there at that time of the morning. The only problem was that I was feeling a little nauseous on the drive up and I wasn’t sure how photogenic I’d be. Kelly managed to catch my cold but she very photogenic, as usual. As photo were taken, however, I began to feel better, and by the time the shoot was over, I felt perfectly fine.

That was a good thing because our next stop was nearby in Laurel, Maryland in order to do a wedding cake tasting. We tasted vanilla and chocolate cakes and they were delicious! We decided on a 3-tiered cake with both vanilla and chocolate. There will be chocolate mouse mousse filling and other flourishes that we chose to make it look just perfect. We were decisive and knew what we wanted and so when we were asked for our deposit, we simply asked in return if we could pay for the whole thing now to get it over with. With that done, they gave us a half dozen of the “sample” cupcakes to take with us. We were in and out of there in 20 minutes.

Then we headed up to Camden Yards for the Orioles game. We were there when the gates opened and stayed until the middle of the fifth inning. The game was close–a real back and forth effort–up to that point. Then, in the top of the 6th inning, Texas scored six runs. Kelly wasn’t feeling great and I had a pretty bad headache and we decided to call it a day. It was just as well. The Orioles lost 15-7.

Back home, I made Kelly french bread pizza for dinner, while I had teriyaki chicken and a baked potato. It was drizzling here a little while ago, but there is more rain in the forecast.

Busy week coming up. Monday is clear, but Tuesday we’re listening to some violin play after work–the person who will be playing at our ceremony is demonstrating for us. Wednesday I have a softball game. Thursday we are having some friends over after work. Friday, everyone arrives for the wedding shower weekend.

Going to do some reading this evening. Maybe get to bed a little early.


We spend Saturday morning around the house. I lazed around a bit, listening to some jazz on the excellent iPod speaker system that strausmouse got me for my birthday. Kelly was productive around the house as usual. More productive than I. We did head over to Macy’s to pick up the bridesmaids dresses, which had come in. From there, we headed over to Trader Joe’s to do some shopping. We picked up some free-range chicken for Kelly. I also bought some frozen Copper River salmon which I am going to attempt to cook.

AJ and Denisse came over around 1 PM. We chatted for a while, and then went back over to the clubhouse so that they could look at some apartments. They met with the person that they talked to last week, and we went with them to see two different apartments in the complex. They now have some decisions to make. Afterward, we walked to the Arlington Diner for a light, late lunch.

Around 7 PM, Kelly and I headed over to Shirlington to meet her friend Kevin for dinner at Guapo’s. We had a nice dinner and then dashed over to Maggie Moo’s for ice cream. We walked around Shirlington for a little while, eating our ice cream, before calling it a night and heading home.

We closed out the evening watching the rest of some movies we’d Tivo’d.

Is it feed a cold and starve a fever…?

Had another restless night last night and finally, around 11 PM, I got up, went downstairs and ate two large bowls of cereal. I had another when I got up this morning. And I was still hungry at 10:30 AM, and so I ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich right then and there, instead of waiting for lunchtime.

I discovered two things about the Comcast package we have (with just about all of the premium channels). There are tons of On Demand movies that we get for free because we get all of the premium On Demand at no extra charge. Many of the movies are presented in HD, too. Second, we have been watching episodes of Weeds On Demand. Last night I discovered that if you choose SHO HD, we can watch the same episodes in HD. Kind of cool!

Casey suggested a local bike shop this morning, so I’m planning on taking my bike over to Spokes after work, and having them repair my tire, show me how to properly do a “quick release”, and adjust the computer so that it works correctly. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to ride my bike into work tomorrow.

We are back in wedding planning mode. Time is beginning to grow cramped. It seems like every weekend is occupied with one thing or another. To wit:

Weekend of August 9-10: Cake tasting, Orioles game, engagement reshoot, possible meeting with officiant, possible visit by AJ and Denisse, dinner with a friend on Saturday.

Weekend of August 16-17: Wedding shower, lots of guests in town for the weekend (rubysnina, he11o_sunshine, stubiebrother, as well as Kelly’s mom and dad.)

Weekend of August 23-24: bigblu4 (Dad) in town for the weekend, Orioles game, possible meeting with officiant (if it doesn’t work out this weekend).

Weekend of August 30-31: Labor Day weekend!

That’s just the rest of this month. I think you get the idea. Where does one find the time? Well, I have gained some time back. My commute is non-existent. A trip to the grocery store takes 2-1/2 minutes via back roads. But still, there’s a lot to do and the clock is ticking away.

And the writer’s workshop starts up on August 18. To say nothing of three consecutive weeks of softball games beginning next Wednesday evening. And various visitors stopping by to see the new place.


Coming down with something?

Work was pretty busy today, but I felt okay about what I was able to get done. When I left work I headed over to the bike shop to get my bike, which was in great shape. Nearly as good as new. I couldn’t remember how to get the front tire off, and I was too stubborn to ask. By the time I got home, I had a lot of difficulty getting it back on. And then I noticed that somewhere between the bike shop and the house, my back tire went flat. I nearly lost it. I was saved by the bell–or ring tone–Kelly calling to let me know she was leaving work and I needed to pick her up at the metro station.

Pick her up I did and hearing all about her first day at the new job put me into a better mood. We made pasta for dinner. I banged my head on the cupboard while doing that. Today is just not my day, I guess. We were going to head to the gym together but I’m definitely not feeling 100%. The scratchiness at the back of my throat is back. Might be a summer cold or something.

I switched us to the AT&T family plan, which saves us about $50/month. We also got our first cable bill and I paid that today as well.

While the girls are out dining and partying at the bachelorette party in 2 weeks, the boys will be having a baseball night. I got 4 tickets (cheap seats) to the Nationals/Rockies game for Saturday night. Me, Kelly’s Dad, stubiebrother and A.J. Should be fun.

Spoke with Dad earlier this evening. They are back from Seattle.

Sarah is coming over tonight to see the new place.

Cleaning day

Today is Kelly’s first day at her new job! We drove to Pentagon City together this morning; Kelly got on the Metro and I headed up to the office.

I’ve been cleaning this morning. Friday (August 1) was the first day of my 7th year in the Washington office, and this morning, I decided I needed to clean said office. I’ve had the same posters on the walls for 6 years and it’s time for a change there, too. So I took down my posters of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and M.C. Flagg “I Want You” U.S. Army posters. Between Kelly and I, we have more than enough framed pictures for the walls of our new place, so I plan to bring in some of my framed NYC art and put that on the walls here. Feels good to get the office cleaned. It’s kind of like cleaning out all of the clutter in your head. The move is good for that kind of thing, too.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I’m not quite sure why. I felt like I kept Kelly up half the night. I felt okay when I woke up this morning, although now, I detect the slightest of scratches at the back of my throat. I’m hoping it’s just my imagination.

The bike shop called yesterday afternoon. My bike is ready to be picked up. I’ll head over there after work. Maybe go for a bike ride this evening. It’s then my intention to start riding my bike into work this week.

AJ and Denisse came over yesterday afternoon. AJ had been out shopping and so he dragged along his new 32″ LCD TV, fresh off the shelves at Best Buy. I teased him that it was his kind of portable TV. We gave them the tour of the new place and then chatted for a while. Kelly and Denisse went out for a walk and AJ and I watched some of the Yankees/Angels game (in HD!) AJ and Denisse are considering a possible move and they were impressed with our new complex so we went to the office and got them information on the apartments. They talked with a rep there, and they are coming back next weekend to look at some of the apartments in person. Who know? They could end up being neighbors. We went to Shirlington for dinner and ate at Guapo’s. The food was pretty good. Went to Cake Love afterward for cupcakes.

I submitted by story, “The Golden Watch” to Strange Horizons 29 days ago. That’s significant because it marks the longest time I’ve had something at Strange Horizons before receiving a rejection. (I’ve submitted 5 items to that magazine and the previous record for rejection was 28 days, and I’ve gotten a rejection from them in as short as 16 days.) As anyone who has been submitting for a long time will tell you, when it takes longer than usual, it is often a good sign (but not always) because it often means the story has made its way out of the slush pile and to one or more editors for review. So we’ll see how that goes. I’m looking forward to getting started on the writing workshop, which now officially begins two weeks from today.

TGI trans fats?

I’m about a day behind on things here because of my lack of Internet at home. Only a few more days of this to go. Things should be back to normal on Monday or Tuesday so bear with me.

Busy day at work yesterday.

On the moving front, I did a few more change of addresses, and some more packing last night. In particular, I got the telescope boxed up and the back room closet all packed up. Tonight is going to be a big night. Another bulk trash night, to say nothing of a whole bunch of stuff getting done around the house in preparation for the move on Saturday.

On the wedding front, called our travel agent today and paid the balance of our honeymoon trip. I owe Mom a list of people for the rehearsal dinner, and I owe he11o_sunshine information for the “info sheet” that is going into the invitations. There simply hasn’t been enough time in the day, but I’ll do my best to get it taken care of today.

Received the September issue of ASIMOV’S in the mail today. Kelly got the checks we ordered in her mail. vickyandnorm would like them: they are Disney checks.

Dad and I went for a walk around Greenbelt lake after work, and then after that, we headed over to TGI Friday’s for dinner. We had a nice dinner, and when it came time to order dessert, I glanced through the menu and immediately decided on their Oreo Chocolate Cake, which I’ve had before, and which I find delicious.

“I’ll have the Oreo Chocolate Cake,” I said to our waiter.

“We don’t serve that any more,” she said.

I was devastated. “Why not?”

“Because of trans-fats.” She didn’t really seem to grasp what this meant.

“Maybe you guys should remove it from the menu.”

“Yeah,” she said.

Dad ordered a Brownie Obsession. When our waiter returned with it, I asked her if I could speak to the manager. I told her it wasn’t about her, I was just fascinated by this trans-fats thing.

The manager came by a few minutes later, and as he described it, “This is a silly corporate thing. They are trying to make us [TGI Fridays] perceived to be health conscious, so we are removing all trans-fat products from our menus. Personally, I love the Oreo Chocolate Cake and think this whole thing is silly.”

“Why don’t they just have a section for low fat desserts and section for regular desserts?”

“I don’t know,” he said.

Later he came back and placed an amusing sticker over the Oreo Chocolate Cake on the menu: “Forced into early retirement”.

Nevertheless, the fact that a restaurant is making this kind of decision on my behalf bothers me. It bothers me for the same reason that soda machines being removed from schools bothers me. It presumes an unalterable lack of self-control on the general public. And it takes the decision out of the hands of a person that has self-control. What right does a restaurant have to determine what I can and can’t eat? What right do they have to determine what is and is not healthy for me? This seems to be a determination for me and my doctor; the restaurant should stay out of the equation.

Restaurants will always have limited menus, and therefore, narrow down our options for us. That’s understandable. But this is the first time I’ve heard of a narrowing down of options because of perception. While I understand that there are health concerns with some of these foods, but like anything, they should be treated with moderation, not banned. I think we have to question this, else what are we to expect next? People abuse alcohol in the same way they abuse food. Alcohol has been shown to have health risks when abused. Should restaurants start banning that too?


We were up sometime around 8 AM yesterday. Kelly finished up some laundry and then at 9 AM, Kelly, Dad and I headed up to IHOP for breakfast. Kelly was going to a play this afternoon and at about 11 AM she headed off. Dad and I left for Baltimore a short time later. We were up at Camden Yards just before noon.

The Orioles have had a terrible Sunday losing streak going. Today, the team was offering two free tickets to each fan who held a ticket, if the Orioles won today. They didn’t win. It was a fun game, however, and a quicker game than some I’ve been to, lasting about 2:30.

After the game, Dad and I headed out to Annapolis to have dinner at Rockfish, the restaurant at which we will be holding our rehearsal dinner for the wedding. It’s a very nice restaurant, within walking distance (~1.5 miles) from the inn. We had excellent service and the food was very good, too (I tried their signature seafood dish, the Rockfish, and it was pretty good. I am not a huge fan of that particular type of fish meat, but the sauce that was in certainly added to it, and I’m sure that for anyone who enjoys rockfish, they’d enjoy this fish. The chocolate mousse they had for dessert was to die for! While there, I signed the contract for the rehearsal dinner and put down the deposit.

We were back home around 7 PM and after some cleaning up, I was ready to relax for a while. I watched a few episodes of M*A*S*H before going to sleep some time before 10 PM.

I’m just about 500 pages through The Count of Monte Cristo and that means less than 1,000 pages to go.

Independence Day

Today was the first time since living in the D.C. area that I actually went to the National Mall to watch the fireworks. Kelly and I headed over to her place around noon. We took care of a few things there (and I managed a nice nap) and then, around 3 PM, we headed over to Sarah’s house for an Independence Day BBQ. It was a lot of fun.

There were 10 or 12 people at the house. We hung out, drinking beer, eating chips, listening to music. And the BBQ was excellent as well. Burgers, brat, pork, potato salad. It was all delicious. Eventually, we played flip cup, guys vs. girls (except that Kelly was on the guys team) and boy did we blow the girls away. I think we only lost two rounds. That was a lot of fun too.

Around 8:30, we all headed out toward the Capitol building. The streets and sidewalks were crowded with people, but it was a festive atmosphere. Eventually, we found a spot west of the reflecting book in front of the Capitol (and not more than 50 yards away from some massive cannons that kept firing in tune to the “1812 Overture”). Sometime after 9 PM, the fireworks started. We were somewhere around 1/2 mile away but we still managed to get a good view of most of them. And we had the band behind us supplying music. It was a lot of fun.

We walked back to Sarah’s afterward and watched as fireworks (big and small) were launched from the street in front of her house. Sometime around 11 PM, Kelly and I decided to call it a night and headed back to her place.

Yesterday and today

Busy days, both. I was very productive at work the last few days, making good progress on two separate projects. Yesterday, I also managed to make huge amounts of headway on move-related stuff, canceling services at the old house, changing addresses with most of the companies I deal with (and even requesting a new certificate from the FAA to replace my crumbling one). I went to Kelly’s after work.

The work day went by quickly today. Todd and I had a late lunch at Johnny Rockets and before I knew it, it was 3 PM and my boss told our team that we could get an early start on the weekend. I met Kelly at the metro station and we headed up to my house. Kelly napped for a while and then we went to Costco so that I could get one more moving kit. I then spent the rest of the evening packing. I actually made good progress. All my books are now packed. It took 36 book-size boxes. All the DVDs and CDs are packed. And I cleaned out the file cabinet, and shredded 4 bags worth of stuff, so that only a small stack of paperwork is left.

I’m about 340 pages through The Language Instinct